A bombshell investigation conducted by the Transparency Foundation has identified at least $6.6 million in inappropriate taxpayer funding was diverted to Left-wing groups in San Diego county in 2020-2021 – all while those same groups engaged in significant lobbying, issue advocacy, and political activities.
The investigation details numerous taxpayer-funded contracts and grants directed to the Left-wing groups by politicians that investigators concluded were “padded” or even directly subsidized political activities. The investigation even uncovered coordination between government staff and a Left-wing group in advancing proposed redistricting maps that would benefit these same politicians.
The inappropriate funding allocations to the Left-wing groups came in the wake of Democrats taking control of the several local government agencies – including the gas tax-funded San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors.
The Transparency Foundation has forwarded the findings of its investigation to several government oversight agencies and is now calling on local government officials to immediately suspend any funds going to what it deems ten “High Risk” political groups in San Diego county currently receiving government funding.
“The diversion of taxpayer funds to these overtly political groups is outrageous and highly inappropriate – and likely is illegal,” says Carl DeMaio, Chairman of the Transparency Foundation.
“We are so concerned about the pattern of abuse of taxpayer funds outlined in our report that we’re asking oversight agencies to look into the evidence we collected and the findings we have made,” DeMaio adds.
The Transparency Foundation says it launched the investigation after receiving a complaint from a whistleblower inside one of the government agencies that was directed by politicians to disburse funds to a local political group under a grant without proper definition of deliverables.
Among the evidence-based findings of the investigation:
“Given significant amount of taxpayer funds being diverted and the numerous alarming examples of politicized emails we obtained between government officials and these groups, there is little doubt that this misuse of taxpayer funds is part of a larger and deliberate plan,” DeMaio says.
While the investigation focuses on San Diego county funding streams, the Transparency Foundation believes the pattern of diverting taxpayer funds to political groups is likely happening in other California counties as well. For example, in May 2021 nearly $100 million in federal Covid-19 funding was distributed to over 480 “community-based organizations” across California, but there has been no way to track that funding or any deliverables associated with it because funding was funneled through third parties such as foundations and private vendors.
The Transparency Foundation is calling on state and local leaders to take immediate action to prevent any additional misuse of taxpayer funds in San Diego county. Among the recommendations made:
“There is absolutely no defense for the diversion of taxpayer funds to any political groups – whether on the Left or the Right – at the same time that they are lobbying government officials, engaging in issue advocacy or voter contact, or outright funding campaigns on political issues,” DeMaio concludes.